Innovative Cancer Institute opens new office

Innovative Cancer Institute opens new office

Pictured are (l-r), Coral Gables Rotarians Carol Brock, Carol Alexander, Yolanda Woodbridge and Sofie Dumont took the Coral Gables News to their session at the United Nations representing Rotary.

The Innovative Cancer Institute located at SW 59 Place and 71 St., recently held a grand opening and lots of folks were there to give a hearty congratulations to Dr. Beatriz Amendola and her partners. They put together a magnificent facility that is sure to provide comfort to the patients and family as they receive treatment for cancer. (See photos on page 3).

Several dozen locals were there making the rounds and I couldn’t help but run into Dr. Aizik Wolf, lots of Baptist folks, Sandy Sosa-Guerrero, the CEO of Larkin Hospital, José Basulto, Karina Hintz and the one and the only Phil Stoddard, the mayor of South Miami.

Phil looked pretty much at ease and seeming rather confident especially since the City of Pleasant Living wants the state split into two with this part being called the State of South Florida.

Golly gee guys. I guess the rest would just stay as FLORIDA, or would that part of the state be called the State of North Florida?

How about this for a real eye opener: Our elected officials should pay more attention to South Miami and go back to making South Miami a better place. The group of happy go- lucky officials need to stop screwing around and get the much maligned and much delayed, Madison Square Project on SW 59 Place and 68 St. finished sooner than later.

And to the newest folks on the dais, get off your butts and get ‘er done, so that at least you would have accomplished one thing while you were in office.

Story around town is that one of those very well-known Cuban restaurants would love to open another location right smack in the middle of South Miami. I’m being told that they would like to take over a large ongoing restaurant, rather than start from four bare walls. Can’t tell you much more, because I’m sworn to secrecy, such as who is buying and who is selling, but if it happens you’ll know just as soon as I am allowed to tell all.

The hand wringing among the GOP faithful since County Mayor Carlos Gimenez announced he felt more comfortable as a registered “independent” is not as terrifying to Republicans as it could be, and Gimenez has always said he was an “independent” thinker and while he supported Rudy Giuliani when the Republican New York mayor was running for president Gimenez may have gotten turned off to the way the county commission races, supposed to be nonpartisan, have become politicized such as the Lynda Bell versus Daniela Levine Cava race for Commission District 8 and Levine Cava had the support of the Democratic Party and the unions that were butting heads with the mayor.

Further since the mayor is up for reelection in 2016 and there will be a presidential candidate on the ballot Democratic voter turnout is traditionally higher, and being an independent could keep him above the national fray when he is running himself and will likely face former Miami Mayor Xavier Suarez, maybe Raquel Regalado, or Alberto Carvalho, or even possible Juan Carlos Cantera if he is elected Lt. governor but the candidate field is wide open and critics are noting the high turnover Gimenez is having with his staff, many of whom are well paid and something Suarez is always pointing out from the dais, but Suarez may be dreaming for many voters remember his past and if he runs it won’t be a cake walk for him or Gimenez whose flip flops and scare tactics during the budget hearings did not endear him to commissioners or many Miami-Dade residents.

State Rep. Carlos Trujillo, R-Doral is one of the new seven trustees on the PHT Trust board after he was appointed to the Trust by the Miami-Dade delegation Chair Eddy Gonzalez,( And Trujillo is replacing state Rep. Michael Bileca, R- Miami who did a great job on the Trust) and Gonzalez is now running to be the County property appraiser. Trujillo is an attorney and a Belen Jesuit Prep School graduate and the former state attorney in this past election cycle, is facing challenger Carlos Pereira a Democrat for the Dist. 105 seat in the House.

And after Trujillo was introduced and sworn in at the Trust monthly board meeting Monday he was assigned to be on the Annual Operating Agreement committee with the University of Miami. Further, Steven Falcone, M.D. gave the PHT board an update on activities at the University of Miami noting the university had received a $50 million donation from the Lennar Foundation for a new Out Patient Center in Coral Gables expected to open in the fall of 2016 and will include specialty medical care services. However, Trustees Joe Arriola asked Falcone if it was possible to include “Jackson as part of the name,” of the new building and Arriola noted when the Trust builds its new buildings “We will be sure to include your name on the beautiful new buildings,” the former U Of Miami trustee said to the physician, who indicated it would likely carry the Lennar name. Arriola also noted the health trust’s fiscal condition continued to get better and days of cash on hand through Sept. was “42 days,” which was a marked improvement to when cash on hand was around 7 days and the goal was to have roughly 50 days of cash on hand but was very difficult to obtain years ago and this new level was a major fiscal improvement, said Arriola.

The frustrations of dealing with Miami Officials and what it was like to deal with Miami Commissioners was detailed in a Miami Herald story last week. And here is what Fernandez has written about the controversy. The ugliness to my offer to pay for the design, building and installation of what some called my “monstrous idea,” A Flag of Gratitude, in downtown Miami. It would be on a 450-foot-high flagpole, located behind American Airlines Arena and would cost between $5 – $10 million. Those who disagree have every right to do so. Maybe some misunderstood my motives.

From Fernandez’s webpage: It is astonishing how much ugliness my simple idea detailed in the Aug. 7 article in The Miami Herald, Billionaire pitches proposal for massive flag over Miami, has generated. By ugliness I do not refer to the disagreement with an idea or a position, rather I mean hurtful. Maybe I didn’t explain well enough why I’m such a grateful citizen of our great country. So, let me explain. Personally, I take very little for granted. Even simple things like our ability to turn on a faucet and expect water to flow from it, most people on earth do not have this benefit. Many born under our form of government take what we have for granted and simply do not understand how those of us who came from elsewhere cannot take that for granted. I don’t think our country is perfect, but is there a better form of government, a more generous people anywhere in the world? The Flag of Gratitude that I would hope our city would support isn’t for me, born in Cuba, but on behalf of all who have been embraced by our great nation. I wish to say thank you on behalf of the Irish, English, Chileans, Japanese, Vietnamese, Italians, Romanians, Nigerians, South Africans, Mexicans, Venezuelans, Germans and, yes, the Pilgrims who preceded us. All these, and more, came looking for a better place, for freedom. I want to show our gratitude to these great United States from all its adopted sons and daughter. All of us. A few who wrote suggested I should take my Cuban “back end” and build a flag there. Sir, this is my home, this is my country and I am not going back. Very similar to your ancestors who chose to stay, I, too, will stay.A few called me an ungrateful egomaniac. Know that it was never my intention to ask for my name to be on this. Others told me my proposal was callous, and that any such dollars ought to go to health services, innercity education, supporting those less fortunate. In fact, I have done all of these things, too. This is my community, and this is my country, and I want to say, thank you. This country gave me opportunity, and no guaranteed results. That is the opportunity for all of us. I don’t know if this Flag of Gratitude will be built in Miami. Let me simply say to my country, our country: We are grateful to be your adopted sons and daughters. For more go to Michael B. Fernandez, Coral Gables.

(The last three items were provided by

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About the Author

Michael Miller
Michael co-owns Community Newspapers with his brother Grant and serves as Executive Editor of the group of newspapers. He enjoys writing about local politics and area businesses. Michael can be reached at

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